Rovers' big guns are back to face Wigan
Saturday 26 September 2009
Hull KR call in the reinforcements today for a match that can open the door to a process their coach admits to disliking.
Justin Morgan does not favour the ClubCall scheme under which Leeds can pick their opponents for the play-off semi-finals. "I'm not a big fan of it, but I want to be involved because it will mean that we're just 80 minutes from Old Trafford," he said.
For the meeting with Wigan at this serious stage of the competition, following what felt like a dummy run last week, Morgan has a number of significant players back. His loose forward Scott Murrell has recovered from an infection behind his tooth, Ben Galea and Shaun Briscoe are fit after injuries and Jake Webster is back after a hamstring strain to replace the broken leg victim Chev Walker.
That means there will be no sentimental farewell to Craven Park for the fans' favourite Stanley Gene, who escaped suspension despite being found guilty of foul play in midweek. The Papua New Guinean has been told that there is no playing contract for him at Rovers next season. He is being invited to stay on at the club in some capacity, but may prefer to play on at Featherstone. The return of Murrell and Galea to the back row today means that there is no room for him in Morgan's 19-man squad.
Wigan, their coaching situation for next season still shrouded in mystery, have named the same squad that beat Castleford last week, although their incumbent coach, Brian Noble, has hinted that the Cumbrian second-rower Lee Mossop might have earned a place on the bench. One of his rivals for that role, Mark Flanagan, is to join Australia's Wests Tigers next season.
Luke George, who ended the season with eight tries in his last four games, has agreed a two-year contract extension at Wakefield.
The remaining place at the lower divisions' finals day at Warrington next Sunday will be decided tomorrow, when York play Oldham for the right to meet Keighley in the Championship 1 Grand Final.
Barrow have re-signed seven of the players who have got them to the Championship Grand Final, while John Duffy has joined relegated Leigh for the fourth time in his career.
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